Speaking of German car companies doing exceptionally well despite a tanking German car market, there is of course Volkswagen.
The Volkswagen group sold more than 3.5m units worldwide in the first six months of 2010, besting the pretty darn good numbers of the same period in 2009 by about 15 percent, Martin Winterkorn said to Reuters. He predicts (and that’s an easy call based on the half year results) that the Volkswagen group will see record car sales in 2010. What’s driving the new Wirtschaftswunder? The weak Euro, of course. And the strong position of Volkswagen in boom markets such as China.
Nevertheless, VW doesn’t want to rely on the vagaries of the foreign exchange. They are planning a new plant in “North America,” says the Rheinische Post. The plant will make engines. Where in NA is up in the air, but it looks like the southern part of North America, namely Mexico. It was no happenstance that that announcement was made in Puebla.
Meanwhile in India, Volkswagen seeks to enlarge its footprint in the promising market. The Hindu reports that VW wants to jointly develop products with Maruti Suzuki. VW had bought a 19.9 percent stake in the Suzuki last year. Both companies are jointl working on projects and a car for India could be one of them. Volkswagen’s Christian Klingler told the Hindu: “Of course, there is a possibility of developing products together, but I cannot confirm it.” Volkswagen has good reason to band together with Suzuki.
Said Klingler: “Suzuki is very strong in the Asian market, including India and Japan. They have knowledge in the small car segment, which is pretty unique. They make small cars and make money. Lot of manufacturers make small cars, but they don’t make money.” True, true, and true.